Major Updates For This Month

Tom Pyle from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) wrote a great blog on The Hill about the high cost of private solar subsidies. Tom’s conclusion: “…our public utility policies don’t reflect the costs that net metering imposes. It’s time to reform net metering policies so that the general public no longer subsidizes those wealthy enough to afford solar panels. The sun, it seems, is not free after all.”  Check that out here.

  • Consumer Energy Alliance released the most comprehensive study to date on solar incentives. A fantastic read and shows where your state stacks up in regards to subsidies for rooftop solar. The key takeaway I got is that net metering acts as a very large subsidy but also that there are so many subsidies stacked on top of subsidies. As you will see, the total incentive as percent of cost is over 100 percent in many of the states studied. CA is at 208%. MA is at 185%. Check out the executive summary hereand the full report here.
  • Those IER folks sure are working hard. IER also released a report called “The High Cost of Rooftop Solar Subsidies: How Net Metering Programs Burden the American People”. Although the title kind of sums up the conclusion, it is well worth the read and sharing with the folks you know. Check this one out here.
  • The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) passed a resolution at their Annual Meeting last month that addresses consumer protection for rooftop solar customers.  You can view that resolution here.  FYI CSG West is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that serves the western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
  • As mentioned the past couple of months, Nevada made some major decisions in 2015 and 2016 regarding their net metering program. NV Energy (the major utility in the state) and SolarCity (one of the major rooftop solar companies) reached an agreement on grandfathering existing rooftop solar customers. These customers will now be grandfathered for 20 years despite a recent updated report from Energy and Environmental Economics stating grandfathering would cost roughly $15 million per year.
  • Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s plan to install half a billion solar panels by the end of her prospective first term. Check out the Daily Caller article on that here.
  • Remember the Buffalo Billion? It is a New York government plan to attract a SolarCity manufacturing facility by footing the bill with taxpayer dollars. It turns out when there is that much money on the table, it may attract some unsavory characters. Check out the corruption article here.
  • Zerohedge wrote an excellent rundown of the Musk subsidy issue and money shifting issue. Check this short but interesting read here.

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